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Ryan Lane Bridge Deteriorating - City Exploring Next Step for Aging Structure
June 9, 2015

The future of Ryan Lane bridge, a highly-traveled passage over the railroad tracks linking Washington Street to Chillicothe's industrial park, is in question because the structure shows deterioration. The wooden bridge is around 100 years old. City Administrator Ike Holland told council members Monday evening during their regular meeting that the Missouri Department of Transportation issued its report about the bridge and that Street Superintendent Barry Arthur had concerns about its safety. The administrator said that a few options exist in dealing with the aging structure and that none are cheap nor are included in the city's budget. Options, he said, were to repair the structure, remove the bridge and not replace it, or remove the bridge and build a new one. MoDOT told city officials that the railroad owns the bridge; however, preliminary talks between the city and railroad officials have been unproductive. Council members agreed that the city should pursue lowering the maximum weight limit - currently at 14 tons - and send official notification about the current issues of the bridge to railroad officials and seek action. Arthur displayed for the council several photographs taken beneath the bridge. He said that there are rotten pilings and that the bridge would be difficult to repair. Arthur recommended reducing the weight limit and posting signs prohibiting truck traffic. He noted that heavy trucks, including ones exceeding the weight limit, use the bridge. Councilman-at-Large David Moore said he would like to have the bridge replaced with a large portion of funds coming from the railroad. Holland estimated that overall costs for replacing the bridge could be as much as $1 million. The possibility of removing the bridge and having a land crossing was also mentioned.

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